Pope John Paul II, continuing his unprecedented campaign against...

VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II, continuing his unprecedented campaign against a film that shows a modern Madonna in the nude, will lead special reparation prayers in a worldwide radio broadcast, the Vatican newspaper said.

L'Osservatore Romano said Thursday that with the special rosary prayers Saturday, the pope intends to 'repair the insult to the Holiest Virgin Mary caused by the film, 'Hail Mary.'



The papal prayer, a monthly event but this time aimed against the film by French-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard, will be broadcast worldwide by Vatican Radio Saturday night, L'Osservatore said.

'Hail Mary' shows a 1980s Virgin Mary, daughter of a gas station owner, in graphic nude scenes that outraged conservative Catholics and the pope. Joseph is portrayed as a taxi driver who wrestles with his sexual desire for the modern-day virgin.

Descriptions of the film so angered John Paul that he personally condemned it last week as slander and distortion in what Vatican observers said was the first ever direct papal condemnation of a film.

Some 2,000 Catholics gathered the same day in the Roman Basilica of St. John the Lateran for a special reparation service against Godard's work.


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